‘You will never guess what I have done!’
These were the first words from our returning client after she purchased a large parcel of waterfront land that included an infamous underground wine cellar with a tunnel to the foreshore.
Having designed an unbuilt house for the previous owner, our familiarity with the land-form and the clients’ desire for internal access to the wine cellar from the new house, dictated the location of the house on the cliff above the sea. The views from this location were magnificent but faced south.
This major design challenge was addressed via an enormous amount of thermal massing inside the house, coupled with an internal west facing courtyard with a fully glazed perimeter. We super-insulated the floor, walls and ceilings, employed a continuous thermal break along the internal perimeter, fully enclosed the sub-floor and provided a commercial scale solar/battery storage system together with a geothermal hot water heating and ventilation system.
The project is commercial in scale. To provide intimacy in the spaces, the floor layout is a series of pavilions with lower roofed links. Each pavilion houses a function: living, sleeping, garaging or recreation. Each space can be closed off to the remainder of the house allowing parts of the house to be shut down when not in use.
Most importantly the understated materials palette, all of which had to be bush-fire resistant, and the low lying building profile create a building that embraces the landscape.
This was a collaborative project between architects, builders, project manager and clients.